I'd like to think so, but then I examine my relationship with my mother and realise I don't actually need her, I actually want her in my life.
I left home at 17, I've not been parented since, our lives are very different from each others. I now live abroad, but I've always had the need to spread my wings and as much as I think my mother would've liked me as a 'home bird' it was never going to happen. She also moved away from her family at a young age and has remained close with them if not geographically but through visits, letters and regular phone calls.
Around the time I left home, her mother went to live with her for a few years. it wasn't the most successful of stays, but it made her realise that when her time came for being looked after, it wasn't going to be done by her children.
But we're nearing that time, not in the next few years, but in the future for certain. It won't be me needing my mother, it will be her needing her us.
Over the last 2 years the roles have been changing slightly since my father died in 2017. I don't do my mother's finances, I just help and advice her with them. I have no access to her money and every telephone call I make on her behalf she has to verify she's happy for them to talk with me.
I now get to spend time with my mother doing nice things, lunch, coffee's, shopping, short breaks and her visiting us in Dubai. There's no definitive role. She no longer has a say or input in my life in regards to decisions I make, she is not the first person I consult, that is my husband, but she is informed of our decisions, our future moves, our choices and it's been like that for almost 20 years now.
My parents never consulted me after I reached adulthood about moving house or going on holiday, they just informed me. I do the same now. But I still inform her and the children of what is going on, travel plans, my health, friendships and what I bought when I went out shopping.
I'm hoping the same can be said by my children. So far so good. We've been involved in all the major decisions in their lives, they consult us about things, they tell us their travel plans, their plans for the future, if they've bought a new car, but they don't ask us to help them anymore. They'll run their ideas past us, but usually at that point they've made their decision. They'll ask for financial advice, but not for money, with planning their futures, renting a flat, buying a house, planning for their wedding.
They'll ask to stay in our flat and treat it with respect, it's always clean and tidy when I want to use it, we don't charge them rent for living there for periods of time in between jobs or travels. They respect us as adults as we do them.
They are all adults now, they are all financially responsible for themselves, they have other people to consult with before us as parents, which is how it should be.
We've done our job, raised them with minimum hassles, to be strong and independent individuals, with their own views and opinions, but do they still need their mum?
Who knows? We've really not been tested yet as parents to adult children, the 4 boys range in age from 19 - 29. They've all needed guidance at some point since leaving home, help sorting out finances, support making decisions to move abroad and change jobs. We live 3000 miles away from them, we're not there for the day to day stuff, although they do tell us about their normal lives.
We're not there to help with the driving lessons, or take them out for dinner to check in, we have to rely on them contacting us if they need support, we don't see the changes and aren't around to pick up on hints and clues, that they might need us. We rely on them to tell us.
They are all adults now with the youngest turning 20 next month.
Do they need their mum though? No I don't think they do anymore, I'm not and shouldn't be the first person they turn to for help, support and guidance, but they do keep me informed of their life decisions, they know I'm here if they need anything, they know they have a home to go to whether it's using our UK flat or coming to visit us in Dubai. They know they can ask for financial help, but they rarely do, if ever. They know they can tell me anything and I'll support them.
They choose to have a mum as adults, I'm not their friend. That's my husbands role........lol.
I really love this. My children are still far too young for this dynamic, but I do get it in that I left home at 19. I have needed my mum on and off over the last nearly 20 years, but mostly due to health issues, but more for guidance and advice. The time will come when she will need my care, and I will be there for her, just as she is caring for her mom now in Zimbabwe.ReplyDelete
Thanks for linking up to the #itsok linky. I hope you will be back next week.
thank you, i'm hoping things will be easy with my mum when the time comes as she's already moved into a 2 bed new build flat, so at least i can concentrate on her and not gardening and repairsDelete
I could relate to your post. I have 3 adult sons. I hope they always want to visit with me and do fun things together. I certainly enjoy being a grandma too. When the time came that my mother needed care, she had had a stroke. I was working full time and she needed around-the-clock care. She had to go to an assisted living facility. Even though I visited her every day, took her out for meals and helped her get a shower and get into bed, she hated it there. I am hoping the same fate avoids me!ReplyDelete
it is a worrying thought, my mum says she doesn't want it to be our responsibility when the time comesDelete
A thought provoking post and it's definitely odd seeing how the roles reverse! My parents live abroad and do not get to see them as much as I would like. Whilst I don't need my mum as such, it would be nice to see my parents more often and spend more quality time with them. Sim x #PoCoLoReplyDelete
we are in the opposite situation as we are the ones who live abroad from both our parents and our childrenDelete
Interesting post and helpful too. My first son will leave in the next year I think. It scares me and not sure if I am more scared for him or myself. Apparently my mum told my brother later in life that she wanted to be treated as a friend rather than a parent. Your children clearly know you are there for them - that means you are a successful parent surely #TriumphantTalesReplyDelete
i wouldn't want my adult children to still be needing meDelete
When my 5 year old kisses and cuddles me, I often wonder how his relationship will be with me 10-15 years down the line. Obviously he won't cuddle and kiss me (imagine his embarrassment!!!) but I do hope that lovely bond is still alive. I guess as long as kids know we have their back and we will always be there for support and guidance, we've done a good job parenting. I tell my son even now that I'm your mummy and your best friend, you can tell me anything that's troubling you. Thanks for joining us on the #itsoklinky.ReplyDelete
it's not something i ever gave thought to in the future, it just all happenedDelete
I think a child never stops needing their parents. I'm 41 now and still need my mum and dad - yes, my needs have changed over time but I still need to know they are there when I am upset or when I want to off load. I hope it will be the same with my kids when they're older x #TriumphantTalesReplyDelete
I stopped needing my mum a long time ago, she finds it hard that i say that, but I hope my children never feel the need to have to put me first, i'd rather they wanted me to be part of their lives rather than needing meDelete
It's interesting Suzanne how the roles change over time. My parents were abroad a lot when I was a teenager which in hindsight I think really helped me to become more independent as they weren't around for me in the way I am for my teens. My relationship with my parents is very close, particularly my mother and that is something which has repeated in my own relationship with my teens. My eldest has actually just turned 20 and whilst we don't see each other as much now that he is away we still face time several times a week for a catch up but as you say the nature of that relationship has changed, because it has too as they become adults. Good post. #PoCoLoReplyDelete
Middle child has always said that us living abroad when he left home at 18 meant he had to stick at things and learn how to adult without us a back up and thinks he's been more successful knowing he didn't have us around just to fall back onDelete
I dont think as an adult you need a mother figure in your life, but to have one there is still nice especially in times of trouble. Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow.ReplyDelete
My kids know I'm there if they need me, which in some ways makes it easier for them to make their own decisionsDelete
I'm at that point where the relationship is changing, my parents are still independent and still gadding about as much as they can, but they know they're slowing down too. They're also much less feisty and sure of themselves in the modern day world, and I guess that must be scary for them. I mean at times it's scary for me! I think informing is a much healthier approach, and testament to how I've been brought up. To be dependent on them now, would be much more worrying I think. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLoReplyDelete
I saw my dad slow down rapidly, because we lived abroad and weren't there for the day to day stuff, each visit i noticed a huge difference. Mum accepts she can't do some of the stuff she used to, whereas dad was in denial about everythingDelete